Exercise Now — Avoid Falls Later
Getting your vision checked. Removing loose rugs and stray cords. Avoiding medication interactions. Each of these actions can reduce your fall risk. But to keep falls from being part of your future, exercise is a must. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists physical activity first among its fall prevention tips.
When exercise isn’t part of your daily life, though, knowing where to start can be a challenge. So first things first: consult your doctor before you begin a workout regimen. Depending on your preferences and restrictions, he can guide you toward the activities that will best improve your fall safety.
Go for a Walk
Walking is an excellent way to get in your daily exercise. With this one activity, you can bolster your leg strength, stamina and balance. Even better, you can do it anywhere. If you’re new to working out, ask a friend to accompany you on your walks. Prioritize safety over speed. You don’t have to walk fast to get its perks, but you do need to do it regularly to enjoy its benefits.
Lift Some Weights
Mother Nature can sometimes throw a wrench into your outdoor workout plans. But even when it’s too wet, windy or chilly to go for a walk, you can still work on your fall prevention exercises. All it takes is a few free weights. Weightlifting is a form of strength training, which can help you build muscle mass and improve bone density.
Take Up Water Aerobics
Do you suffer from stiff joints? Though walking and weightlifting can eventually ease arthritis pain, taking a dip in a pool can also help you fight falls without stressing your joints. When you work out in water, the resistance against your movements can boost your endurance and promote stronger muscles. Plus, water aerobics lets you socialize with friends and meet new people.
Learn Tai Chi
You may have never heard of tai chi, but experts laud it as an essential tool against falls. This ancient tradition focuses on slow and steady movements, making it an ideal exercise to better coordination. Students must also shift their weight, which can improve balance. Facilities around the country offer tai chi classes, so call your local gym or recreation center for more information.